- As new instrumental grime matures, its trailblazers give way to consolidators: producers who build on existing ideas, synthesising and refining them into something fresh. Wales's Odeko is just such a producer. His debut EP, A History With Samus, draws on two overlapping micro-trends, one of which taps the wellspring of video game nostalgia among '90s babies, the other of which reimagines grime as weepy bedroom electronica. Gobstopper artists Dark0 and founder Mr. Mitch have excelled in both styles, though Odeko's closest cousin might be an unaffiliated producer, Yamaneko—right down to the fixation with Japan. Yamaneko's music, however, is modest to a fault; A History With Samus is a bold debut, experimenting with complex structures and striking arrangements.
"Setsuko" and "Sugar Acid" are slick and widescreen, their painterly melodies resting on a head-nodding hip-hop beat. The latter is particularly attractive, with bittersweet chords giving off a tang of Boards Of Canada. The rest of the EP is less firmly grounded and sweeter in mood. Sometimes these tracks feel a bit overworked, lingering on fiddly transitions that obscure Odeko's gorgeous melodies. But the wandering structures lead to some stunning moments. "The Yumato Spring" builds to an unexpected, spine-tingling climax two-thirds of the way through. "Tsundoku" is a call-and-response between ethereal tones and clotted, detuned chords. The juxtaposition of sweet and sour recalls another of electronic music's consolidators, Aphex Twin.
A2 The Yumato Spring
B1 Sugar Acid